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The Visions of Mrs. E.G. White

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    OBJECTION 52. — SUPPRESSION

    We now come to the great outcry about suppression. This the reader will at once understand cannot be urged as an objection against the visions themselves. If any wrong has been committed in this direction, it lies at the door of those who have had the charge of their publication. But there are charges made here which are infamously false. The visions are accused of following the views of the people; and as our views change, the visions must change to correspond; and if they cannot be changed they must be suppressed. To use the objector’s own language, “All such visions are put where it is not an easy matter to get hold of them. Had it been possible they would long ago have destroyed them.” We pronounce this an unvarnished, malicious falsehood; and those who make it, and those who love it, are respectfully referred to Revelation 22:15. They cannot produce the first particle or evidence that there has ever been any attempt or design on the part of the leaders in this work to suppress any of the visions. Having once published them and spread them through the ranks of believers, any one could see that it would be sheer folly to attempt any such thing. No; be it understood that we stand by everything that has been shown. And what is the great proportion of that which is charged upon us as suppression? Simply matter that has been once published, and edition becoming exhausted, has not been republished. Now is there any law compelling us to keep on hand an edition of every vision that has ever been published? We certainly wish we had them, and could put them on sale at this office. But because the editions are all exhausted, Oh, says the silly charge, they are now suppressed! This might just as well be said of every book that chances to out of print.VEGW 122.2

    But in such visions as have been re-published, portions have been omitted. How is that? Very well. It not unusually happens that much that is shown in vision has a special application to circumstances as they exist at the time the vision is given. Now when the vision has once been fully published and accomplished its object as far as circumstances are concerned, is it not perfectly right and proper to re-publish only such portions as are of importance and utility to subsequent times? All will concede that it is.VEGW 123.1

    But it is claimed that objectionable features are left out because they are not now believed. In answering these objections thus far we have answered among others the very points which are claimed to have been suppressed, and shown that they contain nothing but what we now fully endorse; so that this objection so far is of no weight. But further, we can show that those points are no stronger than others which are retained; so that the objection fails in this respect also. The two principal points are these: Speaking of those who fell off from the Advent path to the world below, she says, “It was just as impossible for them to get on the path again and go to the city, as all the wicked world which God had rejected.” Word to Little Flock, page 14. This is omitted on page 10 of Experience and Views. Was it because this point was not then believed? If so, look at another statement found of page 43 of the same work: She saw the world before the throne, and when Jesus rose up from the throne not one ray of light passed to the careless multitude, but they were left in perfect darkness. Now which expression is the stronger? We say the latter, or, at least, it is just as strong. The other point is in what was shown about false reformations: “The reformations that were shown me were not reformations from error to truth, but from bad to worse; for those who professed a change of heart had only wrapped about them a religious garb which covered up the iniquity of a wicked heart. Some appeared to have been really converted, so as to deceive God’s people; but if their hearts could be seen, they would appear as black as ever.” As we have not proof to the contrary, we will take it for granted as the objector claims, that these statements were published in the The Present Truth, August, 1849. Concerning their import we will only say that they do not prove that every conversion since 1844 has been spurious, as the objector asserts. They are speaking of the conversions made by these false revivals, which were not conversions from error to truth. It is not asserted that there could be no conversions from error to truth, and that such would not be genuine. The point now before us is, Were these statements omitted on page 27 of Experiences and Views, because they were not believed, at the time the vision was re-published? We say, No; for expressions are retained which are still stronger. Thus: “The reformations that were shown me, were not reformations from error to truth. My accompanying angel bade me look for the travail of soul for sinners as used to be. I looked but could not see it; for the time for their salvation is past.” Concerning the expression, “The time for their salvation is past,” and “the wicked world which God had rejected,” we have already spoken and have no occasion to speak further here. We introduce them only to show that there are expressions retained in the visions, which viewed from the objector’s standpoint, are far more objectionable that those which he claims are omitted on account of their objectionable features. Their omission, then, so far as any objection based on them against the visions is concerned, is a matter of complete indifference. The objector is therefore at liberty to make of it what he can.VEGW 124.1

    Let us briefly recapitulate that the reader may look at all the facts in connection.VEGW 126.1

    1. Every vision, except such as pertained exclusively to individual cases, has been once published, put in print, and indiscriminately circulated, where friend and foe could alike obtain them. Attempts to suppress any of these would be utterly futile.VEGW 126.2

    2. The main body of what we are accused of having suppressed, is simply the editions of some visions, which, having all been sold, have not yet been re-published!VEGW 126.3

    3. Portions which are claimed to have been suppressed from some evil design, are simply some which related to particular and local circumstances, and having accomplished their object, have not been inserted when that which is of general interest has been re-published.VEGW 126.4

    4. Expressions are retained inculcating the same sentiments, in language still stronger than those which the objector claims to have been suppressed on account of their objectionable features; so that the teachings of the visions are not altered a whit by the omission of those things which he asserts have been left out because they are not now believed.VEGW 126.5

    5. In answering these objections we have answered all the points which are set forth as suppressions, and have shown that they contain nothing but what we still fully endorse.VEGW 126.6

    6. If the objector could maintain his points, what would he prove? Nothing against the visions themselves, but only against those who have had charge of their publication.VEGW 126.7

    In view of these facts this objection dwindles to a point that is not visible to the naked eye. And all the assertions that certain visions are not for sale at this office because we do not now believe them, or that there has been any effort made to call in visions for the purpose of suppressing them, or that if we could have got hold of them, they would long ago have been put out of the way, or anything of the kind, we brand as infamous calumnies, and bald and barefaced untruths.VEGW 126.8

    We have now followed the objector through his list of objections against the visions, finding none of them valid, and most of them weak and puerile in the extreme. We might have left them, with no fears that any person of a pure and ingenuous spirit, and honest and upright heart, would have been permanently turned from the right path by their influence. But considerable vain and empty boasting may be stopped, by thus refuting them in order. Two things we have gained by this examination: First, a deeper knowledge of the inherent weakness of the opposition, and, second, clearer views of the beauty and harmony of the visions themselves.VEGW 127.1

    One other point should perhaps be mentioned before closing. Some one may say, Then you make the visions a second New Testament, a Mormon Bible in your system. We do not, as the following reason will show: We have ever held,as set forth in this work, that the word of God, the Bible, is the great standard by which to test all these manifestations. “To the law and to testimony. If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” All gifts of the Spirit in the church must be thus tested. Now it is evident that which tests, occupies a higher position than which is tested by it. This, in one word, expresses our view of the relative position which the Bible and the visions sustain to each other. But when a manifestation accords with the word, and gives every evidence that it is a genuine manifestation of the Spirit of God, we submit it to the objector himself to say how far we may regard it lightly or despise or transgress its teachings with impunity.VEGW 127.2

    In conclusion, we would urge the reader to study Spiritual Gifts and Testimonies to the Church more fully, and endeavor to follow their teachings more closely. Those who do this to the greatest extent, exemplify most of the spirit of Christianity in their daily lives; and such have no doubts, and find no difficulties, in the visions. The objections all come from those who manifest the least of their spirit in their daily walk and conversation, and who are least acquainted with their manifestation.VEGW 128.1

    And you who love the present truth, who feel your hearts swelling with gratitude, as you view the pit of darkness from which it has taken you, and the glorious light it has thrown upon your pathway, remember that the visions are intimately and inseparably connected with this work. We have yet to learn of any one who has given up the visions, who has not also given up the main pillars of present truth. How is it with those who have lately risen up in opposition in Iowa? They have already surrendered the great truths of the Three Messages, the Two-horned Beast, the reckoning of the prophetic periods, and consequently the Sanctuary work in Heaven. How long they will retain the Sabbath, or any practical view of the doctrine of the second advent, time will determine. Are you willing to follow the guidance of such men?VEGW 128.2

    To thus endeavor to defend what the Lord has expressly and in mercy set in his church, against the attacks of unreasonable and faithless men, has been to us a pleasing task. The effort is but a faint index of the gratitude we feel for the precious gift which is among us. May the Lord add his blessing to make it of benefit to those who read. May he help you to “prove all things,” and “hold fast that which is good.” May he enable you to heed the injunction, “to despise not prophesyings; “and may you “come behind in no gift, waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”VEGW 128.3

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